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September 26, 2011

Ryan Lutz & DEX408 @ ROAR 8th Electic Nationals

Filed under: News — Stuart @ 1:36 pm

ryantrophy The 2011 ROAR 1/8th Scale Electric Nationals took place over the weekend of 9th to 11th September at the Hobby Town Hobbyplex in Omaha, Nebraska. Ryan Lutz took the ‘soon to be released’ Team Durango DEX408 8th scale electric buggy to compete against some of the best drivers around.

Turnout was fairly low but the quality of competitors was still high at the sharp end of the racing.  Friday the 9th saw the start of qualifying with three 6-minute runs for the drivers.  Ryan took his prototype-DEX408 to a safe 3rd in round one as he was getting used to the car but things got progressively worse in rounds two and three with mistakes causing Ryan to drop positions.

Poor tyre choice along with more mistakes meant Ryan would qualify down in 8th overall for the A-Main – not where he wanted to be but he was feeling optimistic.

Ryan: – After qualifications were over I decided to run a few more packs and try some set-up changes. First thing I did was make the rear camber link longer. [It was a] Bad choice, the car flipped over way easier and was edgy. So went back to short and then went up one hole on the rear camber link. This was awesome! Best my car had felt all weekend. So now that I’ve found a bit of help in the set-up department I hope to put in some solid A-main performances.

Above: Ryan in practice with the DEX408

A-Main 1
I had a decent start and got up to 5th from my 8th starting position. I got into ‘no mans land’ as I call it where the top 4 had a good lead on me and the rest of the pack were a few seconds behind me. I took it easy for most of the main but on the last couple laps I made some mistakes and allowed Truhe to catch up and pass me on the last lap and so I settled for 6th.

A-Main 2
I got an even better start and worked my way up to 4th. I was staying as clean as possible and was able to overtake Cavalieri for 3rd and I held the position until the last lap. On the last lap Truhe once again caught me and passed me with 1/2 a lap to go. I stayed glued to the back of him though and over the left side double he got a little short and went out wide and we both went over the single onto the straight away together but his car rocked a bit and I pulled just barely ahead and in the sweeper at the end before the finish line he got right on my rear end and basically pushed me across the line. So I was able to take 3rd in A2.

A-Main 3
I knew I had a legit shot at Podium. I had an okay start and after a few laps was up to 5th. I worked my way up behind Cavalieri and I knew if I could beat him I could get 3rd overall. We battled close for a few minutes with me having a couple chances but always getting up on 2 wheels or a hard landing or something keeping me just behind. With one lap to go though I was on his bumper and we landed the coming at you double side by side but my car hit the rut that had developed over the weekend and rolled over. This allowed Cav to get away and King to pass me as well. I finished up and took a 5th for the round. Overall this put me 4th place! Not bad for a prototype buggy on my first big race with it! Overall I was pretty pleased with the final result and look forward to more running in the E-Scale class!

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